Abe Lincoln stopped at Hanover station:”We want to preserve history … so it doesn’t disappear’
Re-enactor Byron Wildasin was among members of the 16th Pennsylvania, Co. G, to support renovations to Hanover’s Lincoln monument. The markers tells about the president’s stop in that southwestern York County town on his way to deliver the Gettysburg Address. Background posts: York newspaper about Gettysburg Address: ‘Mr. Lincoln made a joke or two …’, Historical marker may soon point to Jefferson square’s famous visitors and Abandoned Codorus railroad not just any abandoned railroad.
Abraham Lincoln’s links to York County are many and too often overlooked.
His train, sans Lincoln, passed through here on his way to the White House after his election. (He had taken another train to D.C. because for security reasons.)
Four years later, his funeral train, with Lincoln, stopped in York on its nation-wide tour.
In between, he changed trains at Hanover Junction, south of York, on his way too and from Gettysburg to deliver his famous address.
And along his way to and from Gettysburg, he passed through York County’s countryside, steaming through Jefferson, Smith Station before pausing in Hanover… .
During that stop, the Rev. M.J. Alleman called out to him: “Father Abraham, your children want to hear you.”
The president came out, with normal self-deprecation.
“Well, you have seen me,” the Hanover Spectator reported, “and according to general experience, you have seen less than you expected to see.”
That stop is frequently forgotten, and a group in Hanover is seeking to spruce up a marker telling about it.
The Hanover Evening Sun story telling about those efforts follow:
One-hundred and forty-five years ago, President Abraham Lincoln stood at the train depot on Railroad Street and spoke to residents about the Civil War. After the brief visit, he continued on his journey to Gettysburg, and the next day gave one of the most famous speeches in history, leaving his stop in Hanover to be largely forgotten.
But members of the 16th Pennsylvania Company G – a Civil War re-enactors group – do not want Hanover’s small part in history to be lost.
That is why the group, which formed in 2006, has raised money throughout the year to preserve a small monument that marks the occasion.
The monument sits on a piece of sidewalk outside the CSX Railroad building at Railroad Street and Park Avenue.
“Next to the Battle of Hanover, this is the second best-kept secret in Hanover,” Byron Wildasin said, referring to the plaque.
The group has raised $1,000 through raffles and sales to fix up the 66-year-old monument. Over the summer, they planted flowers and pulled weeds to spruce it up, and now the money will be used to fix the mortar between the stones.
Bruce Yealy, president of the group, said the monument is in bad shape and needs to be redone so it does not fall apart.
“If it’s not kept up, we feel as if the story will be lost with time,” Yealy said. “Our whole purpose is to preserve Civil War history.”
Yealy said members of the group hoped “If it’s not kept up, we feel as if the story will be lost with time,” Yealy said. “Our whole purpose is to preserve Civil War history.”
Yealy said members of the group hoped to have the renovation of the monument done by winter, but the weather is not cooperating and the work may have to wait until spring.
Eventually, the group also hopes to replace the sidewalk with bricks so it will look as it did when Lincoln visited. Yealy said that project will need to be coordinated with the railroad and also will cost about $1,000.
All 40 members of the re-enacters group were involved in raising money for the project. Yealy said they will continue to hold fundraisers until they reach their goal of completely revamping the monument.
“We want to preserve history to help younger people see what it’s all about so it doesn’t disappear,” re-enactor Doug Neal said.